By Beth David, Editor
Fairhaven Selectboard members voiced support for police chief Michael Myers to pursue a speed limit reduction to 25 miles per hour in town. A new state law allows towns to adopt the measure for all roads that are not posted. Currently, unposed roads default to 30 MPH.
At their meeting on 5/15, all three Selectboard members said they would support the lower speed limit in the interest of safety.
Chief Myers said that for a lot of roads, 30 MPH was “pretty fast.”
He said the department gets “quite a lot of complaints” about speeding.
“It may not seem like much, but five miles an hour makes a difference,” said Selectboard member Charles Murphy.
He asked if the town could make more use of electronic signs that tell drivers how fast they are going.
Chief Myers said the department has applied for grants to get more of those signs.
The board did not vote on the measure, and it will require approval by Town Meeting before it can be implemented.
The board also accepted a “check” from Council on Aging Director Anne Silvia for $234,072, representing 19,506 hours put in by volunteers, at $12/hour.
Ms. Silvia said she has more than 60 volunteers.
“You want to talk about some dedicated people,” she said, and ticked off a list of overtime, extra-time and more-time tasks they performed this year, including the volunteers who helped seniors get new health insurance coverage when Hawthorn Medical suddenly stopped accepting Tufts in January.
Then there were the tax preparers who put in “tons of hours,” and the transportation drivers.
“The doors to that place would not be open without my volunteers,” said Ms. Silvia. “I love them all.”
The board also stopped for a moment of silence for COA volunteer Gerri Frates who died last week.
In another matter, the Selectboard met with the Board of Public Works to reiterate who’s in charge of what.
The BPW has jurisdiction over parks, but occasionally, residents will appear in front of the Selectboard or other committees, such as the Beautification Committee, to get permission to hold events, clean-ups, or make improvements.
Town Administrator Mark Rees said he realized too late that the BPW acts as park commissioners, and allowed some work to go on at the parks that should not have happened.
Gary Lavalette also said he erred when organizing clean-ups at the Civil War park and the Veterans Park on Route 6.
Everyone agreed that the BPW has jurisdiction over the parks, so the next time there is a request, the Selectboard should forward it to the BPW, so it was a bit unclear why the joint meeting happened in the first place.
Board members on both sides seemed to be referring to a flurry of emails that were not explained.
“I think the big outcry is two or three people,” said BPW superintendent Vinnie Furtado.
Most of the complaints seem to be about activity at Cooke Park, leading to some discussion about how to limit uses in the park. The boards learned of some residents who hired a company to perform ground penetrating radar at Cooke Park to try to ascertain, finally, if anyone is, indeed buried there.
Selectboard chair Bob Espindola., however, noted that a public park is a public place. As long as there is no damage to the grounds, and they are not altered in any way, the public should be able to use them.